BISMARCK, N.D. – Another potential clash between Dakota Access oil pipeline protesters and law officers over a disputed bridge in southern North Dakota has eased.
The bridge on state Highway 1806 is near the protesters’ main camp. It’s been shut down for weeks because authorities say it might be unsafe due to earlier fires set by protesters. Protesters say the closed bridge blocks emergency services and their access to pipeline construction sites.
The two sides clashed overnight, with officers using tear gas, rubber bullets and water sprays against protesters who they say assaulted officers with rocks and burning logs.
Protesters and police massed at the bridge again Monday morning. Protesters went back to the camp Monday afternoon at the request of Standing Rock Sioux elders, after reports of firearms in the crowd.
The proposed Dakota Access Pipeline would transport crude oil from North Dakota through South Dakota and Iowa and into Illinois.
The underground pipeline would transport 470,000 barrels of crude oil a day, which would be sent to markets and refineries in the Midwest, East Coast and Gulf Coast regions, according to Energy Transfer Crude Oil Co.
However, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe says the pipeline would come within a half-mile of their reservation and could disturb or destroy sacred historical sites.
Also, tribal leaders are concerned about the consequences the pipeline would have on their water supply.